There’s something about Border Community artists and extended breaks between albums. After label head honcho James Holden finally released his second album The Inheritors a whoppingseven years on from his debut, Norfolk producer Luke Abbott has announced that his second LP Wysing Forest will drop on Border Community in June. It comes a mere four years on from his debut LP, Holkham Drones, which memorably distilled the ambient psychedelia that imbues the label’s “danceable rather than dance music” sound. Drawing its name and inspiration from the Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire, Abbott recorded the LP over six weeks while he was there as a resident musician back in 2012. “There was a large emphasis on improvisation during the whole process,” Abbott divulged. “A lot of what has ended up on the record was originally recorded as first-takes or sketches of ideas.” Abbott was influenced by jazz while recording the album, along with minimal pioneers like Terry Riley, as he discussed in a press conference he conducted peering out from behind a pair of classic Ray Bans™ while sipping on a Cherry Coke™. “While I was recording the album I was listening to a lot of different things within spiritual jazz – Don Cherry’s Organic Music Society and Alice Coltrane’s Journey In Satchidananda were the two main records I was listening to,” he said. Abbott also went out of his way to stress that the album is best appreciated when listened to as a whole as it “has a very particular arc to it and the tracks only really make sense in the context of that arc.” There’s enough promise in the track ‘Amphis’, which Abbott has released online as an appetiser ahead of his album, to hint that Wysing Forest will be well worth the lengthy wait – indeed it will hardly be surprising if Abbott ‘does a Holden’. James Holden has created an environment in his record label where artists are comfortable enough to release albums when they feel sufficiently inspired to warrant doing so, as opposed to when they are contractually obliged to churn out releases. This ethos distinguishes Border Community from the centrist ‘EDM’, and is the reason why everything released on the label demands a close listen.
Lebanese producer Rabih Beaini, who goes about his business under the moniker Morphosis, will perform in Sydney for the first time on Thursday April 17 at The Imperial Hotel in Erskineville. A man who oscillates between traditional techno and more abstract sounds, Beaini released his debut album What Have We Learned on the Delsin imprint in 2011, which was apparently recorded in a mere two days and largely improvised. Beaini followed that album with The Tepco Report EP and an album with his experimental outfit Upperground Orchestra, both of which dropped on his own Morphine label the following year. With remixes of Pinch & Shackleton and collaborations with Donato Dozzy also studding his discography, as well as regular performances at Berlin’s hallowed Berghain nightclub, the one-time architecture student has established himself as one of the foremost proponents of unfettered techno in the underground milieu. When asked to describe his sound in a recent interview, Beaini opted to relay an encounter with a punter in Rome, recalling that a random dancer approached him and whispered in his ear, “Your music is balanced delirium.” Beaini endorsed this description, agreeing his output inhabits a space “when chaos becomes equilibrated,” before adding the qualifier, “I hate being branded and I hate belonging to something defined”. Which puts me in quite an awkward position when writing about the guy – now I’ve flagged him for your listening attention, let’s move on before I incur his wrath by defining him as a techno avant-gardist, or something even more pretentious.
Experimental Viennese techno trio Elektro Guzzi, comprised of guitarist Bernhard Hammer, bassist Jakob Schneidewind and drummer Bernhard Breuer, will release their next album Observatory at the end of May. Observatory comes out on Stefan Goldmann and Finn Johannsen’s Macro imprint, a bastion of avant-garde techno (somewhere in the world, Rabih Beaini sighs forlornly). Lauded as an act resembling “Liquid Liquid for a digital age”, Elektro Guzzi are all about organic approaches to electronic music, performing everything live in real time, sans loops, minus overdubs – we’re talking totes live, babe. In fact, instrument credits have been completely wiped off the record sleeve cover for Observatory, with the eight-track outing epitomising the sound of techno constructed via live instruments. “We’re connected to the basic concept of techno, creating a sound representative of the future,” Schneidewind told an audience at last year’s Sonar Festival. “That’s always in the back of our minds, to make it sound new and futuristic with our means.” Track titles from the forthcoming album like ‘Acid Camouflage’ and ‘Rough Tide’ say it all, really. In light of Elektro Guzzi’s proclivity for laying down material live and their deserved reputation for putting on a rollicking live show, the trio’s Live P.A. album, which captures the ‘techno-tanzband’’s performance in London a few years back, is well worth a listen as you cross off the days in the calendar, awaiting the late May morning when Observatory can finally be yours.
Saturday April 5
Goodgod Small Club
Thursday April 17
The Imperial Hotel, Erskineville
Saturday April 26
Marrickville Bowling Club
Saturday May 3
House of Mince
The Imperial Hotel
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